Safe Sleep Practices

Every year more infants die from preventable, sleep-related deaths than in motor vehicle crashes. What is the cause? Unsafe sleep environments, such as sleeping in the same bed with an adult or sibling, sleeping on couches, car seats and other surfaces for a prolonged duration, and sleeping with too many pillows, blankets and plush toys in a crib.


While the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS is on the decline, mortality rates among infants from suffocation from co-sleeping is on the rise.

Rady Children’s Hospital and the Center for Healthier Communities is launching Safe Sleep San Diego to increase awareness among parents and caregivers of safe and unsafe sleep environments. The Center for Healthier Communities, in partnership with Community Housing Works, will begin outreach into communities in 2018.

ABCs of Safe Sleep

Alone: Child should sleep alone and without an adult or sibling immediately next to them.

Back: Child should sleep on their back.

Crib: Child should sleep in a crib, moveable playard, such as a Pack ‘n Play, or bassinet, on a firm mattress and without bumpers, pillows, blankets or plush toys.

Parents and caregivers should follow the ABCs every time a child sleeps, both at night and during nap times.

Remove your child from their infant car seat when not traveling in a vehicle or when not being carried between locations. Infant car seats are not replacements for cribs or PackNPlays for prolonged sleeping.

Purchase a moveable play yard, such as a PackNPlay, to take with you when you travel and to ensure a safe sleep environment every night and day of the year.

What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like?

What Does a Safe Sleep Environment Look Like? (En Español)safetosleep-logo

Safe to Sleep Campaign

The National Institutes of Health launched Safe to Sleep, a public education campaign to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related causes of death. Rady Children’s Hospital has also established a policy on safe sleep practices based on best-practice guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institutes of Health and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Each year, nearly 3,500 cases of SIDS are reported in the United States while an additional 2,000 deaths are connected to other unsafe sleep practices. Since the start of the Safe Sleep Campaign, SIDS rates in the U.S. have decreased by almost 50 percent, both overall and within various racial/ethnic groups.

Keeping Your Child Safe

This webpage provides resources to help parents create a safe sleep environment for their child whether at home or while traveling. These resources include information on proper bedding, proper sleep positions and, most importantly, proper sleep locations.

If you have any questions or concerns about creating a safe sleep environment, speak to your child’s pediatrician or contact the Safety Store (located in the Center for Healthier Communities) at 858-966-7573.


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